While the 1980s at Creighton University began under the direction of the Rev. Matthew E. Creighton, SJ — Creighton’s “centennial president” — the Rev. Michael G. Morrison, SJ, held the University’s presidency for the bulk of the decade, beginning in 1981. That same year, the business college added Management Information Systems (MIS) as a major offering. University-wide, one of the decade’s most noteworthy developments was its restructuring of how funding was raised through capital campaigns and annual giving. Ultimately, changes in these areas made Creighton sustainable through the decade’s rough patches and set the University up for a bright future.
Guy R. Banville, PhD, took over as dean of the Creighton College of Business Administration in August 1982, having arrived from St. Louis University where he had served as associate dean in the business school. According to the Rev. Neil Cahill, SJ, Banville focused his energies on two endeavors: restoring harmony among the faculty, which was needed after the rather strained relations between his predecessor and the college’s professors; and staying abreast of current business practices to prepare Creighton graduates for success. His efforts were welcomed by faculty.
Other Banville initiatives included developing alliances with the Omaha business community by increasing faculty internships and bringing business professionals to campus to interact with students, and focusing more energy on service. He was also keenly aware of the trap of placing too much emphasis on research, which he felt hurt the quality of teaching. Banville, in his own observation, concluded that the 1980s brought about two significant developments: computing and communications technology and economic globalization.
- In 1983, the Master of Computer Systems Management program began, in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force. Kathryn L. Mabbitt became the program’s first graduate in December 1984; the following year three students graduated from the program, and it continued to grow.
- Also in 1983, 853 undergraduates and 250 graduate students were enrolled in COBA, then the largest enrollment in history.
- In the early part of the decade, the Eppley Building’s lower level was redesigned to accommodate University College. Space was freed up when the Math and Computer Science department relocated to other spaces on campus.
- In 1987, an Executive in Residence Program was developed, which ultimately brought 85 business executives onto campus for lectures and meetings with faculty and students.
- On October 19, 1987, a major stock market collapse known as Black Monday occurred, and the aftereffects (such as an 11 percent decrease in the value of the endowment) hurt Creighton’s business enrollment and threatened the future of the college.
- In 1989, Dean Banville appointed a faculty committee to make curriculum recommendations, lasting to the year 2000 and beyond.
MARK WALTER, BSBA’82, JD
Mark Walter is a businessman and philanthropist. He and his family are advocates for education, conservation and social justice.
Walter is the founder and owner of businesses in sectors including commercial real estate; renewable energy and infrastructure; media and entertainment; franchising, food and beverages; corporate finance and insurance; and is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Guggenheim Capital, LLC. Beginning in 2012, Walter became chairman and controlling owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is an owner of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks and the Philadelphia Freedoms of World Team Tennis.
Mark and his wife, Kimbra, have founded numerous social justice organizations that provide opportunity to marginalized youth, including the Academy Group, Chicago Beyond and OneGoal. Walter oversees the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, which is committed to promoting education, literacy, recreation and health for children and families throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
The Walter family is also active in the conservation of endangered species and wild places. They own White Oak, a 17,000 acre conservation facility in North Florida dedicated to the protection, breeding, and reintroduction of endangered and vulnerable species, and are working to preserve and safeguard endangered species, including rhinos, elephants, lions, wild dogs, okapi, wolves, grizzlies and many other species, through global conservation programs.
Walter is a trustee of Creighton University, Northwestern University, the Field Museum and Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. He is on the Executive Counsel of Major League Baseball and the WNBA Board of Governors. He received his JD from Northwestern University in 1985 and his BSBA degree from Creighton University in 1982. Walter lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter.